Brooklyn, N.Y. – Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke released the following statement on H.R. 2910, a bill that would expedite the permitting approval process for natural gas pipelines by eliminating protections for property owners and local communities and undermining the existing environmental review process. The bill passed by a vote of 248 to 179. Congresswoman Clarke voted “no.”
Referred to as the “Promoting Interagency Coordination for Review of Natural Gas Pipelines Act,” H.R. 2910 would allow companies that build natural gas pipelines to complete land surveys on private property without the consent of the owners or obtaining a permit from local governments. In addition, the bill would limit the ability of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to consider information from other federal and state agencies about the potential consequences of a pipeline for the environment.
“Again we find the Trump administration and its allies in Congress promoting fossil fuels at the expense of American families and the environment. There are already procedures that allow natural gas pipeline companies to start their projects quickly – FERC has testified that ninety percent of applications are approved in less than one year. When we allow a company to transport natural gas or any other potentially hazardous substance through our communities, we need to know that all precautions have been used to protect us and avoid any risk of groundwater contamination or air pollution. By limiting the amount of information available to FERC about the potential risks of a proposed pipeline, this bill threatens the public health and safety.”